The Salmon family are actively involved in the local community in Botswana. Interacting with the people of Botswana brings us a huge amount of pleasure. They are a warm, friendly, fun loving community and we have developed some very valuable relationships over the time we have been shareholders at Limpopo Lipadi. The philosophy behind our involvement is 'give a man a fish you feed him for a day... teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime. We want to make a sustainable difference to the economic well-being of the local communities through investment in education and training and the establishment of small businesses.
Motse and Me documentary
MAKING A DIFFERENCE DOESN'T TAKE A LOT OF MONEY IT JUST TAKES A LOT OF HEART
One of the huge privileges of being a Limpopo Lipadi shareholder is an opportunity to get meaningfully involved in the life of the two local villages near the reserve Moletemane and Tsetsebjwe. The initiative is called Motse and is a partnership between the reserve and the local community. David Serban, a friend of the family, kindly directed a documentary 'Motse and Me to tell the story of this partnership . The Bushbabies project is one of the most rewarding of our initiatives and it is where we partner with the schools to help them deliver the conservation part of their curriculum
Knitting, Sewing and Becky's Designs
SMALL BUSINESSES ARE THE LIFE BLOOD OF AN ECONOMY
Ann Salmon started a knitting and sewing class for the Limpopo Lipadi housekeeping staff during their break period in the middle of the day. An initiative that was enjoyed by all. Becky, one of the housekeepers, showed particular talent and has gone on, with investment assistance from Ann by the way of loans, to build a house in Tsetsebjwe with a sewing room and two sewing machines . She plans to start her own sewing business Becky's Designs. Ann continues to support Becky as she develops her business and Becky is looking to do a business management course shortly to develop her understanding of what is required as an entrepreneur. Becky has made all of the staff uniforms for Saleda Lodge and is also taking on private clients. She is also looking to get the contract for doing school uniforms.
Nursery School and Church
Church services were held on a very adhoc basis only when arranged by shareholders during their visits to Limpopo Lipadi. Martha and Dooks as part of their job description as Saleda Management Staff now organise regular weekly church meetings, purchase bibles, chairs and refreshments with donations from the Saleda Trustees. They have organised a lay pastor, Joshua who is a member of the Limpopo Lipadi maintenance team. Ann Salmon built a church in the staff village for services to be held in on a regular basis. Ann also had a nursery school built and bought a basic supply of equipment. This initiative is still a work in progress.
Education, Scholarships and Training
GIVE A MAN A FISH AND YOU FEED HIM FOR A DAY... TEACH HIM TO FISH AND YOU FEED HIM FOR A LIFETIME
Ann has established an annual scholarship at Limpopo Lipadi for staff training. The first scholarship was awarded to Gofa a member of the housekeeping team who has gone to Maun to train as a chef. Saleda shareholders also paid for Onkabetse who was on the Anti-poaching team to go to Chobe to do his guide training. Chrisy and Renee donated funds to Moletemane Primary School for the development of an outside 'Conservation Classroom' for teachers to use when delivering the conservation curriculum at school. August 2018 will see the establishment of Hospitality Taster Days at Saleda Lodge where secondary school students from Tsetsebjwe will be able to develop an understanding of the skills required in the hospitality industry and the continuation of the primary school Bushbabies visits to the reserve that were launched in 2016. The Saleda shareholders are also in discussion with an organisation in South Africa called Learn to Earn that have very successfully developed a training programme getting unemployed people into employment to see if they can start a franchise in Botswana.
Aoby and Premium Animal Feed
Brian and Greg did a survey of trees on Limpopo Lipadi to see if the types and numbers of trees on the reserve had changed much since the initial environmental impact study done by the developers twelve years ago. Limpopo Lipadi was originally badly overgrazed and damaged farm land and it is critical, in order for it to achieve a healthy natural balance, that any intervention is done carefully and with minimum disruption. Having done extensive research into the best mopane harvesting methods and after lengthy discussions with the Reserve Manager and other specialists Aoby have signed an agreement with Limpopo Lipadi Game Reserve Council. Their objective is to establish a team of locally employed people , monitored by Tshepi the foreman, to come and harvest ,by a selective 'thinning' method, up to 1% of the 2 million mopane trees estimated to be growing on the reserve. The intention is to generate an income for the local community by exporting timber and timber products internationally, and by manufacturing animal feed. Once the businesses are established the companies will be owned and run by the locally. The benefit to Limpopo Lipadi of the initiative is the mopane and other vegetation will be 'thinned' for no charge along the game drive roads to provide for enhanced game viewing and an amount of free firewood will also be provided. Tshepi has started income generation for Aoby whilst they are awaiting licenses to be issued by providing very valuable reserve maintenance support.